About the Award

Dr Karen Burt was an eminent physicist who gained her PhD in electron microscopy at Reading University before joining British Aerospace Systems as a project engineer for scientific satellites.

She had an extensive and varied career before leaving to establish her own consultancy. After establishing the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation Systems at University College, London her career was cut short by a tragically early death.

Karen influenced many people with her enthusiasm for engineering, she presented the Faraday lecture and judged young designer competitions.

She contributed to the work of the Women's Engineering Society, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Physics, in particular offering advice to companies on the recruitment and retention of women.

She proved herself to be a role model to many by writing about career breaks and offering guidance based on extensive research and her own experience following her son's birth. The range of her experiences and generosity made her an inspiration to all.

This award is funded by a bequest made by Karen Burt's father, Professor Cyril Hilsum, CBE, FRS, FEng.

The award is made annually each autumn, normally at the national conference of the Women's Engineering Society.